This legislation would give municipalities the option of instituting instant ranked choice voting for mayoral and council races through the passage of an ordinance at least 180 days prior to an election. This system, which is essentially would establish instant run-offs, would eliminate the need for costly run-off elections.
Ballots would feature the names of every candidate for a mayoral or council office and voters would rank their preference for each of the candidates. The instant run-off voting count would proceed in rounds. In each round, the number of votes for each continuing candidate is counted. The highest ranking candidates are called "continuing candidates" for that round, and any candidate in the last place ranking is declared defeated. A round would end with one of the following two potential outcomes:
(1) If there are two or fewer continuing candidates, the candidate with the most votes would be declared the winner of the election; or (2) If there are more than two continuing candidates, the last-place candidate is declared to be defeated and a new round would begin.
Cities would have the ability by ordinance to limit the number of ranked candidates in any election to no fewer than five or allow two or more lowest candidates to be eliminated in any round.